The President, John Agyekum Kufuor, has nominated the Presidential candidate of the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC), Prof. John Evans Atta Mills for the nation's highest honours.
The President will decorate Prof. Mills together with other 157 Ghanaians who have been nominated for national honours as part of celebrations of Republic Day, which falls on July 1 2008. The awards ceremony will take place on July 3 2008.
A statement signed by the President's Press Secretary, Andrew Awuni, announced this on Friday May 23, 2008 in Accra.
Prof. Atta Mills and four other eminent Ghanaians including Vice President Aliu Mahama will receive the highest honour of Order of the Star of Ghana, Companion Division.
Among the list of awardees for the highest honour are the Asantehene, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, Nayiri Naa Bohogu Mahami Sheregu, Paramount Chief of Mamprugu, and the Yagbonwura, Bawa Doshie, the Paramount Chief of Gonja Traditional Area.
Prof. Mills served as Vice President of Ghana from 1996 to 2000, and then contested for the presidency on the ticket of the NDC in 2000 but lost to President Kufuor. He again stood for elections to be President in the 2004 general elections and lost again to the incumbent, President J. A. Kufuor.
Prof Atta Mills is a Professor of Law and a tax expert. He taught for many years at the University of Ghana, Legon and also served as head of Ghana's Internal Revenue Service (IRS) before entering politics. At the time when he was nominated to partner former President J. J. Rawlings on the ticket of the NDC in 1996, he was relatively unknown in Ghana's political circles.
Prof. Mills is also a sports enthusiast, with special interest in hockey.
Other categories of the awards are Order of the Volta, Companion Division, 50 awardees. The Order of the Volta, Officer Division, 38, Member, 16 and Grand Medal 49.